Fear is something everyone experiences, no matter how much of a Rambo you think you are, and it can be hard to overcome. There are really only two ways people deal with fear; you either face it head on and overcome it or run from it. Sadly, it always catches up to us, no matter how fast we run, so really, the only way to deal with it, is it face it head on. Out of the plethora of life lessons to be learned from skateboarding, one of them is definitely overcoming fear. If done correctly, it can be really rewarding, but if it is misjudged, it can end in agony, especially in something as raw as skateboarding.
If you look up the types of fears in the world, you’ll be met with a number of phobias, like anatidaephobia – the fear of being watched by ducks. Hilarious, I know. It’s pretty hard to categorize fear in skateboarding though, because you’d think the only fear would be the fear of getting hurt, but oddly enough the more you progress, the more fears you become familiar with. Along with the fear of getting hurt, there’s also the fear of landing sketchy, chicken feet, snapping your board, not landing at all, not getting sponsored, the fear of getting too dirty before the jol, etc.
It goes without saying that most beginner skateboarders fear falling and potentially getting hurt and catching a few odd stares from pedestrians. Sadly, there’s no way you can progress in skateboarding without ever falling…I mean…it’s a piece of wood with wheels attached to it. That’s a recipe for disaster on it’s own haha. The best way to reduce that fear is by working with your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your capabilities and gradually pushing the boundaries will most likely result in less injuries and more fun. If you started skateboarding a week ago, trying to flip into a noseblunt…down a handrail…probably isn’t something you should be attempting yet.
So how do you overcome fear? Well firstly, become content with the inevitability of pain. It’s part of the game. In skateboarding, you’re bound to get a couple of rolled ankles, shinners or even fractures but I mean…who needs bones anyway right? Next, you’re going to want to learn how to calculate risk by evaluating your capabilities. Get your basics down because the more comfortable you are on your board, the less fearful you will become. Lastly, and probably the most important point, remember that fear is nothing but a substance of the mind. Yes it keeps us out of harms way, but it really does deprive us of experiencing the good AND the bad that we need in order to develop into the best versions of ourselves.
Overcoming fear is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. So take calculated risks, progress and have fun. Now that you’ve gotten a basic guide on running fear over, go out there and do great things…and don’t forget your mask on your way out!